The IUHPFL Experience
Benefits of Participation
According to IUHPFL alumni testimonials, it is hard to quantify the impact the IUHPFL has on the lives of its participants. Successful participants achieve language skills that far surpass results from regular classroom settings and often catapult language capabilities to a fifth semester college level*—but this is just one program benefit. In addition, student confidence and maturity increase considerably while their sense of world understanding and other cultures expand. Their newly developed friendships with host families and fellow participants often last — to which alumni from the sixties and seventies can attest — a lifetime.
"Malena's experience was excellent! She matured, learned, and enjoyed it so much! When she came back she enrolled in French 241-Introduction to French Literature, at Purdue, for which your program was the best preparation we can think of. Indiana's kids are incredible lucky to have access to IUHPFL and every time we are asked about it by other parents we enthusiastically recommend it." Ariel de la Fuente and Cecilia Tenorio, parents of Malena de la Fuente, Brest 2011
As such, the value of the IUHPFL is difficult to measure. One thing is clear: in the evermore global world of the 21st century, knowing and speaking a second language well and being able to relate to a foreign culture are highly sought-after skills. No classroom, two-week cultural vacation or camp can provide the meaningful life-changing experience the IUHPFL offers.
The skills, IUHPFL students develop during their immersion experience abroad, last a lifetime and include independent thinking, building relationships with students, instructors and host families and attaining increased language proficiencies. Students learn to navigate and communicate in a foreign country. They truly immerse and live the language.
Teachers report that their students return with a deep understanding of what culture really means. Students come to the realization that there is more than one way of doing things, that humans in other countries often have similar needs and wishes.
*According to research conducted at Indiana University, Bloomington